Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat
Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat was an unofficial mascot of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics created by Sydney cartoonist Paul Newell with Roy and HG from the Australian Channel Seven sports/comedy television program The Dream with Roy and HG, which covered the event. He took the form of a life-size stuffed toy wombat with a lazy, cheerful expression and comically pronounced rump, and usually appeared on The Dream broadcasts on Roy and HG's desk.
Fatso was a spoof of the official Olympic mascots Olly, Millie, and Syd; whom Roy & HG disparaged as "Olly, Millie and Dickhead". He was nicknamed "the battlers' prince" and proved to be more popular among Australian fans (and some visitors who viewed the program) than the official mascots. Fatso appeared with Gold Medalists Susie O'Neill, Grant Hackett and the Australian men's 4×200 metre relay team on the winners' dais. He consequently appears on an official commemorative postage stamp of the Australian men's 4×200 metre relay team in the arms of Michael Klim. During the Olympics, the Australian Olympic Committee attempted to ban athletes appearing with Fatso to stop him upstaging their official mascots. The ensuing public relations disaster forced the president of the AOC, John Coates, and the director general of the IOC, Francois Carrard, to distance their organisations from these attempts.
In keeping with Fatso's role as a protest against the commercialization of Olympic mascots, only two Fatsos were officially produced: one for use in the studio and the other for use in the athletes' village. At the end of the Olympics, one of the Fatsos was auctioned for the Olympic Aid charity, selling for A$80,450 to Seven Network executive chairman Kerry Stokes. Fatso is currently housed in a glass box in Kerry Stokes' North Sydney office. A number of unofficial Fatso toys and memorabilia were sold by merchants without authorization from the producers of The Dream. A statue of Fatso appeared as part of an official Olympic memorial outside the Sydney Olympic Stadium, commemorating the volunteers who worked during the Olympics. The Fatso statue was vandalised in late September 2010, then stolen sometime before 8 October 2010.
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- Reuters (22 September 2000). "'Groin gags, anti-mascot fatso lift Aussie duo to cult". indiavarta.com. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 21 March 2007.
- Browne, Rachel (18 July 2004). "Roy, HG leave Fatso home". Sun Herald. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
- Fatso the Wombat Online: THE Unofficial Fatso Fanclub, Pandora Archive, National Library of Australia, archived 2000-11-20
- Fatso the Wombat Online: THE Unofficial Fatso Fanclub Tee-Shirt order form, Pandora Archive, National Library of Australia, archived 2000-11-20
- "Fatso the Wombat goes wandering". The Daily Telegraph. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.